Home Security & Safety Information
Facts About Burglary
- More than 6 million residential burglaries occur annually - that's one every ten seconds!
- Nearly half of these burglaries are committed without force - through unlocked doors/windows!
- Many burglars will spend no longer than 60 seconds trying to break into a home. Good locks and good neighbors who watch out for each other are major deterrents to crime!
- Always lock your doors and windows even when leaving for "just a minute."
- Never leave a house key available under a doormat, in a flowerpot, on the ledge of the door. These are the first places a burglar will look!
- Exterior doors should be of solid core wood or metal and have "deadbolt" locks with a 1-inch strong metal bar ("throw") extending into the frame.
- Sliding glass doors and windows can offer easy access if they are not properly secured. You can bolster them by installing additional security locks or putting a broomstick or dowel in the inside track to jam the door. To prevent the door from being lifted off the track, drill a hole through the sliding glass door frame and the fixed frame - then insert a pin in the hole.
- Security locks should be added to the garage, patio, or other doors that lead into the home.
- Install a wide-angle lens viewer (180 degrees) in your front door - never open the door to someone you don't know or don't know very well!
- Use timers so that lights, radio, and/or the TV will go on and off so that it appears that someone is home even while you are away.
- Thieves hate bright lights. Install exterior lights on timers that illuminate your doors and windows all through the night.
- Prune back your shrubbery so it doesn't hide doors and windows. Cut back any tree limbs that a burglar could use to climb to an upper-level window.
- Stop mail and newspaper delivery if you are going to be away for an extended period of time.
- Consider an alarm system or owning a dog for added protection. You can still post "Beware of Dog" signs even if you don't own one!
- Engrave, photograph, and keep a list of your valuables with serial numbers and descriptions.
- Remember - if you come home and see a broken window or a jimmied or open door, don't go in! Go to a neighbor's home and call the police immediately.
Protect Your Home While on Vacation
- Lock all doors and windows.
- Make arrangements for someone to pick up your mail and newspapers, and if you are going to be away for a long period, stop delivery.
- Give a spare key to a trusted neighbor in case of emergency and also an emergency number so you can be reached.
- Use timers for your lights, keeping the same schedule as when you are home. You can also put a radio on a timer, so the home seems lived in.
- If you are parking your vehicles outside, have a neighbor move them periodically, so they look driven.
- Make sure all garages and outdoor sheds are locked.
- Have your lawn mowed and trash picked up if you are going to be away for a lengthy period.
- Be sure and give a relative or neighbor your itinerary and estimated times of arrivals at major stops. Also, call and check-in with the relative or neighbor so your whereabouts are always known. By taking a few simple precautions, your vacation can be the pleasant, relaxing time you planned.
A Good Neighbor - Best Crime Prevention
- Law enforcement officers can't be everywhere at once, but you and your neighbors can. You're the ones who really know what is going on in the neighborhood.
- Put that neighborhood know-how to work. It's simple: just use your eyes and ears - and then your telephone. If you spot something suspicious, call the police department immediately.
- Don't try to stop a criminal yourself - it can be dangerous.
- Neighbors working together in cooperation with law enforcement make one of the best crime-fighting teams around.
- Don't let anyone tell you that Neighborhood Watch is an excuse to be nosey - Neighborhood Watch programs have been known to reduce residential burglaries by 45%!
Please keep in mind that this is your home, your neighborhood, your community. Much of your personal safety and that of your neighborhood depends on your active participation in the crime prevention effort. You are a vital part of your community's security and welfare.
Be an Active Resident
- Attend Crime Prevention meetings hosted by your neighborhood and the Police Department. You will receive valuable information on carjacking, burglaries, personal assault, and more. Awareness and knowledge are your best weapons against crime.
- Attend and become involved in all neighborhood events. Your ideas and concerns count. You have an opportunity to meet your neighbors and their families. You will soon begin to recognize the people who live in your neighborhood. It will help you identify suspicious or unknown persons you might observe.
- Introduce yourself and your family members to other residents. If you are a new resident, take the initiative to make the first contact. As you continue to live here, make it a point to introduce yourself to newcomers moving into the neighborhood. To people who look forward to making this their home, it makes them feel welcome and promotes a "neighborhood" atmosphere.
- Immediately report suspicious persons or activity to the Police Department. The dispatcher will want to talk directly to you as the first-hand observer of the activity.
- When observing suspicious activity or a crime in progress, try to remember as much detail about the person or car as possible. Skin color, height, weight, hair color, facial hair, clothing descriptions are all important to the police as are the color of a car, the make and model, the license number, and the direction of travel.
Do not attempt to stop, confront, or follow persons engaged in these activities. Your role is to observe and report only. You are the eyes and ears of your community. With your participation and responsiveness, you can continue to live and work in a safe and secure environment.